Eric C. Conn, a Kentucky lawyer who pled guilty to defrauding taxpayers out of $550 million, is on the run, fleeing justice one month before his sentencing.
The self-described "Mr. Social Security," who pled guilty earlier this year to his involvement in a widespread disability fraud scheme, disappeared just as the trial for one of his accomplices began.
Conn is facing up to 12 years in prison, and his sentencing was scheduled for July 14. The Lexington Herald Leader reported Conn removed his electronic tracking bracelet on Saturday and vanished.
"Employees in Conn's office had heard him say he would flee to Cuba or Ecuador to avoid criminal charges, and Conn had wired substantial sums of money out of the country at times, an FBI agent testified at one hearing," according to the report.
"If he were to leave, to cross a border, he could go to wherever he has stashed some money and flee," said Trey Alford, an assistant U.S. attorney.
The FBI has no new information, and Conn is still missing. The trial for Alfred Adkins, a clinical psychologist who signed off on phony medical evaluations for Conn for years, began Monday. Adkins and David Daugherty, an administrative law judge who approved fraudulent disability claims for Conn, received over $5 million in the scheme.
Conn himself made over $23 million off the federal government. The flashy lawyer commissioned a $500,000 replica of the Lincoln Memorial to sit outside his office in Stanville, Ky., erected giant billboards, and filmed local television ads with the "Obama Girl" to attract clients.
An attorney for whistleblowers who exposed Conn said it was no surprise that Conn fled law enforcement.
"I actually expected it to happen sooner, rather than later," said Mark Wohlander, an attorney who represented two whistleblowers who filed the initial claim against Conn for fraud in 2013. "I always thought that given the amount of money he made and the information the government obtained that he had transferred thousands of dollars overseas or to other locations. I just expected him to run."
The Associated Press reported that Conn speaks multiple languages, has crossed the border nearly 150 times in the past decade, and told "at least six people he would flee the country instead of going to jail."
Conn also shredded 26,000 pounds of documents and had money transferred into overseas bank accounts.